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Wednesday, August 23, 2006 

Are you part-Neanderthal?

People of European descent may be 5% Neanderthal, according to a DNA study that questions whether modern humans left Africa and replaced all other existing hominids.

The same study, published in the latest issue of the journal PloS Genetics, also says West Africans could be related to an archaic human population.

As both groups spread, the findings suggest we all have a bit of archaic DNA in our genes.

"Instead of a population that left Africa 100,000 years ago and replaced all other archaic human groups, we propose that this population interacted with another population that had been in Europe for much longer, maybe 400,000 years," says Vincent Plagnol. >> more